Laxmi Prasanna| TNN | 

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A new writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the linking of Aadhaar with one’s bank account to mobile phones. The writ filed on behalf of noted gender activist and writer Dr. Kalyani Menon Sen is expected to be heard after Diwali holidays. This is the recent writ after a spate of petitions led by retired Justice K. S. Puttaswamy.

“The current writ petition numbered as WP [C] No. 1002/2017 is filed in public interest under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution to raise issues which endanger Fundamental Rights of Indian citizens, protected under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution. It is filed on behalf of Dr Kalyani Menon Sen and is likely to be heard by the Supreme Court after Diwali holidays,” Senior counsel Vipin Nair told TOI . This petition challenges Rule 2(b) of the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 (Impugned provision), which seeks to amend Rule 9 of the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005, issued under the Prevention of Money-laundering (PMLA) Act 2005, he said.

By virtue of this Impugned Provision, submission of Aadhaar Number has been made mandatory for individual clients, companies, partnership firms and trusts for opening bank accounts, maintaining existing bank accounts, making any financial transactions of and above Rs. 50,000; and crediting foreign remittance into ‘small accounts’. Existing bank account holders have been directed to furnish Aadhaar numbers before Dec 31 this year. Non-compliance with this provision will render the concerned bank accounts in-operational indefinitely, subject to submission of the Aadhaar Number and Permanent Account Number (PAN), he said.

The petition further seeks to challenge the Circular issued on March 23 this year by the Telecommunication department wherein it has been made mandatory for all mobile phone holders to link their mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar.

This petition appeals to the court to issue an appropriate order to declare that the impugned circular issued on March 23 this year is null and void and totally unconstitutional as it violates the fundamental rights of the Indian constitution. It also seeks the court to issue an order declaring that based on such a provision, the mobile phones of subscribers will not be made in-operational and future applicants will not be forced to submit their Aadhar numbers. It also pleads before the court to seek clarification from such companies or respondents who enforce such rules even when the program under Aadhaar Act is entirely voluntary. It also seek to issue an order to ensure that biometric, fingerprints and iris scans are the personal property of the citizens and not that of the state or some company infringing the privacy of the individual.